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26 Mar, Sunday
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Montreal Families

Summer fun for tweens and teens

My oldest son is at an awkward age. Having just turned 14 and almost 5’9”, he’s outgrown (in both size and interest) children’s playgrounds and their slides and swings. But other than basketball courts, our nearby parks don’t offer a whole lot for kids his age.

In anticipation of a summer filled with moans of “What can I DO?”, I’ve rounded up some tween- and teen-worthy outdoor activities that’ll keep my child, and hopefully yours, engaged and active all season long.


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With a variety of treetop adventures and courses for different ages and abilities, Arbraska is an adventure that most tween or teen will find impossible to resist. Make it a family outing as there is the Arbre-en-Ciel Village at the Rawdon and Rigaud locations that are great for the little ones. Older teens looking for a challenge can try La Rafale, Quebec’s most extreme and highest aerial course, or book one of the night treks.

Pricing varies depending on what activity you choose. Reservations are required.

Choose from one of seven locations in Quebec.


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Mountain Biking

Purchase a day or seasonal pass for access to Mont Rigaud’s network of mountain biking trails. Covering 20 kilometres, the trails are suitable for beginner to advanced riders.

Daily trail access for ages 6 and up is $13, and $17 for adults. If your teen doesn’t have their own, bicycles and helmets are available to rent but must be reserved online in advance.

321 des Érables, Rigaud

Head to Bromont to take advantage of its Mountain Bike school, which offers private and group lessons for beginners new to mountain biking and more experienced riders.  After a lesson, explore the mountain trails on your own or with friends.

150 Champlain St., Bromont


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Play on the water

With a visit to the nautical centre in lovely Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, teens can discover the lake and river around Montreal while taking in the view of Mount Royal in the distance . Starting early June, visitors can rent rabaskas, pedal boats, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards at the facility that’s located right beside the Pointe-du-Moulin Historical Park. Boat rentals include mandatory safety equipment and guidance on safe usage.

Kids ages 8 and over are welcome, and children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult — great bonding time. Pricing starts at $15 an hour. Call 514-290-2244 for opening hours and reservations.

2500 Don-Quichotte Blvd., Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot

Those interested in taking kayak or stand-up paddle board lessons can visit Paddle Mac located just across the road from John Abbott College and McGill’s Macdonald Campus in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Ninety minute classes are limited to four participants, so have your teen grab some friends for a fun afternoon on the water.

21566 Lakeshore Rd., Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue

Take advantage of the rapids located around Montreal to try out surfing. Your teen will learn the technique and all about water safety during river surfing lessons in LaSalle or near Habitat 67. The minimum age is 12 for Bunny Wave lessons, and 14 for Habitat 67. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult participating in the activity.

KSF also offers summer camps for those 16 and up as well as whitewater kayaking, rentals, and stand-up paddleboard yoga.

Prices vary depending on the activity.

If you don’t want to be solo, try out a family rafting trip down the Lachine Rapids. Two levels are offered: the family run (rapid class 1-2) and the adventurous run (rapid class 1-4) so everyone can have fun on the water. Guides will be with you at all times for safety reasons. Everyone under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Excursions last about three hours with half of that on the water.

Pricing starts at $43 for kids 6-12, $50 for 13-17, or choose the family rate of $191. Make sure to reserve in advance.

8912 LaSalle Blvd., LaSalle


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Pump tracks

For an altogether fun and free outing, load the bikes onto the car and visit the 300-metre pump track located in N.D.I.P. The track winds through the trees on the edges of Parc des Mésanges and is great for biking, scootering, skateboarding, or rollerblading. Watch the city’s Facebook page during the summer as there are usually lessons available with free BMX bikes to try out. A skatepark and splash pad are also located in the park, so you can spend the day.

10 Aumais St., Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot

The city of Westmount recently installed a small pump track at Westmount Park. While their younger siblings play in the park, older kids can try out their bikes, skateboards, or scooters to whip around the track. Similar pumps tracks can also be found in Baie D’Urfé, and on the South Shore in Varennes at de la Commune park, Loiselle park in Mercier,  de la Clairière park in La Prairie, and Municipal park in Saint-Mathieu.

BMX racing

If you have a teen who craves action and adrenaline, have them try out BMX racing, either on their own or with a club. It’s a great way to learn new skills, meet friends, stay fit, and take risks in a safe and cool way.

A nearby public track is located in Coteau-du-Lac, about 30 minutes west of Montreal. Newbies can try the huge track on their own, or take training through the Club de BMX Vaudreuil-Soulanges. The track is accessible to all cyclists; however, certain time blocks, including Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings, are reserved for club members.

Public access to the track is free. Only bikes are permitted on the course.

The BMX track is located beside the Centre de la nature quatre-saisons, 160 route 338, Coteau-du-Lac.

Another public track is located right on Montreal in RDP-PAT. Both beginner and advanced riders are welcome and the track is accessible to the public from sunrise to sunset, except for Mondays to Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. between May and October when the BMX Montreal Club has priority for lessons.

Access to the track is free to the public. Only run bikes and mountain/BMX bikes are permitted. Read up on the rules before heading out.

15200 Sherbrooke St. E., Pointe-aux-Trembles

Beach with friends

Montreal is lucky to have some great small beaches. Send the teens with their friends (and a chaperone if needed) for a day of fun in the sun. Verdun’s new beach may be small but there is room to stretch out and a nearby park for Frisbee and relaxing. Visit the soft sand at Parc Jean-Drapeau, or head out to Pierrefonds’ Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park where you can also rent watercraft.

Read more about nearby beaches here:


Teens with a need for speed can race their friends (or you) at St-Zotique Karting, located about 30 west of Montreal. Three different tracks and 45 go-karts ensure that all abilities and ages can participate.

Pricing starts at $15/10 min for children and goes up to $25/10 min for adults. Call in advance to reserve.

503 34 Ave E, St-Zotique


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Outdoor fitness

While playgrounds might be too young for your teen, they might like the challenge of outdoor gyms that offer climbing nets, obstacles, bouldering walls, and exercise equipment. Aimed at those 13 and older, the equipment comes with instructions on how to do different exercises and it’s free to use.

Find a location near you with the TrekFit park locator:


Experience Montreal’s Old Port from a new vantage point. The first urban zipline in a Canadian city soars 1,200 feet over Bonsecours island and offers a thrill of a ride for kids, teens, and adults. Riders receive a safety demonstration before they launch.

Pricing is $16.99 for kids 12 and under, and $19.99 for 13 and older.

Hangar 16, near the Clock Tower pier in the Montreal Old Port

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